Looking back on the last few weeks, it’s becoming apparent that we’re making quite a bit of rum-based cocktails. And frankly, it’s easy to see why. Rum is one of the most versatile spirits, and there are so many different kinds and production methods that it can be difficult to sort the good from the bad. Here are a few of our favorites.
Cana Brava Rum
This is what white rum should taste like. Cana Brava is a Cuban-style white rum, which basically means it’s Bacardi without all the astringency and unpleasant nose. If you’re looking to do white rum cocktails like daiquiris, swizzles and mojitos, look no further. Good luck finding it, though. It can be difficult to find at most liquor stores, but most stores worth their salt can probably obtain it for you.
Smith and Cross
We want the funk. Perhaps the most polarizing rum on this list, the overwhelming funk, or “hogo,” is enough to make some imbibers run for cover. When making rum-based cocktails with Smith and Cross, it’s sometimes better to add a 1/2 oz to 1 1/2 oz of a different rum, just to round out the cocktail with some super funky flavors.
Goslings Black Seal Rum
We might get some flack for putting this on the list (Gosling’s doesn’t get a lot of respect in the tiki community, or so I’ve been told), but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t adore this stuff. Plus, you can’t make a Dark & Stormy without Goslings. So there’s that.
Ron Zacapa 23
Our favorite sipping rum, with plenty of honey notes and just a slight touch of funk. You don’t know what you’re missing.
El Dorado 12
Demerara rum with character. Actually, we don’t even carry this stuff, but we should. And we will. 1 oz of Cana Brava and 1 oz of El Dorado 12 make a great mojito, as long as you don’t mind breaking convention.
Any list of rums wouldn’t be complete without a 151, and this is the best around. Except it’s not around, because you can’t get it in the states anymore. Hold up a lighter in the air and silently hum “Dust in the Wind” to yourself while thinking of all the Lemonhart you can’t consume anymore. Still, Hamilton’s 151, the rum brought to market to replace Lemonhart, will do just fine if you don’t have a guy who knows a guy.